Monday, December 1, 2008

We Do Not Love the Moon

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is the apocalyptic journal of teenage Miranda. When an asteroid hits the moon and knocks it closer to earth, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanos decimate the planet. Miranda's family (her mother and two brothers) stockpile canned goods and firewood and bunker down in their rural Pennsylvania home. As society falls apart bit by bit, Miranda's family becomes increasingly isolated.

The book's style is straightforward, conversational, and honest, just as one would expect from a young girl's diary. In the midst of the horrible circumstances, Pfeffer explores Miranda's poignant and complex relationships, such as with her divorced father and his new wife, her exceptional mother and older brother, and her born-again best friend.

The story is bleak. It's a hard book to put down but it's not a happy tale. Ickie mentioned that it reminds him of the new Battlestar Galactica in the way it explores humanity's response to the destruction and survival of our race, and in that way, Life As We Knew It is still a tale of hope. Even if everyone dies, there's something fascinatingly life-affirming about humanity's response to death, with all our flaws and our heroics.

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